Progressive Values Devalue Human Work

By capitulating to progressive-union pressure, and despite disingenuous claims that no broad-based taxes were imposed, Ocean Staters will once again bear increased burdens to pay for new taxes and regulations, more spending, and more union giveaways. Lawmakers chose to appease, rather than resist, the progressives’ job-killing, big-spending agenda.

Message to General Assembly leadership: #JustStayHome! By kowtowing to pressure from the progressive-left, the provisions in the proposed 2018 budget, along with other crippling legislation, send a disturbing, but clear message to Rhode Islanders: hard work is valued less than unearned worker privileges. Rhode Islanders’ natural drive to engage in gainful and honest work and to invest in new ventures is corrupted by false promises that they can become part of a new “I got mine” special-interest crowd.

Rhode Island suffers from the worst business climate in the nation, the 48th rank on the Jobs & Opportunity Index, and the 45th rank on the Family Prosperity Index (FPI). The major takeaway from the Rhode Island FPI report is that the best path for families to enhance prosperity, is through work and marriage. Yet lawmakers in 2017 will make matters worse, especially when it comes to work.

By capitulating to progressive-union pressure, and despite disingenuous claims that no broad-based taxes were imposed, Ocean Staters will once again bear increased burdens to pay for new taxes and regulations, more spending, and more union giveaways. Lawmakers chose to appease, rather than resist, the progressives’ job-killing, big-spending agenda.

Think of the anti-human-work messaging this progressive policy-creep sends:

  • By increasing minimum wage mandates, as evidenced in Seattle, fewer jobs, fewer hours, and lower overall wages will result for low-income families … many of them to be replaced by robots or other automation

  • By forcing employers to pay for costly paid-time-off, employees are incentivized to arbitrarily not show up for work for almost any reason they concoct, driving up business costs and driving down productivity

  • By providing free college tuition, the work and dedication it once took to get through and to support a higher education – as well as the diploma itself – are devalued

  • By dramatically expanding tax-free disability-pension-for-life rules, government workers are further incentivized to quit work early, leaving residents local and state taxpayers with the burden of paying for non-productive retirees

  • By raising commercial electricity rates via increased renewable energy mandates, more businesses will cut back on jobs and hours, may move out of state, or may shut their doors and lay-off their employees

  • By increasing residential energy prices and by imposing over $32 million in new internet taxes, plus increased cigarette taxes and vehicle registration fees, money taken directly out of our pockets, there is a lower incentive to work for a paycheck and instead rely on a welfare check

  • By continuing to hand-out corporate-welfare candy to a few insider companies, rather than improving the business climate for all companies, the competitive marketplace is unfairly disrupted, resulting in even more businesses choosing not to invest in Rhode Island ventures

  • Another progressive-inspired bill would end our state’s employment at will doctrine – a longstanding provision that protects employers when they make everyday employment decisions. Passing such a bill would mean businesses could be sued almost anytime they chose to terminate anyone’s employment

All combined, the progressive agenda is an assault on the human workplace. Indeed, Rhode Island is engaged in a battle of visions. The progressive vision is transforming our Ocean State – before our very eyes – into an anti-human-work hell; where businesses face onerous regulatory and financial burdens; where worker attendance and productivity are compromised or replaced by automation; and where Rhode Island becomes a less attractive place for employers.

Contrast this regressive progressive vision with a positive, merit-based, market-friendly and pro-family vision of success and achievement; where more Rhode Islanders realize a better quality of life, because more and better businesses are free to create more and better jobs so that more of our people can engage in meaningful, soul-fulfilling work.

The folly of this whole session is the spin by misguided political leaders who claim success. Unless one believes that advancing anti-work, progressive values is a good thing, the 2017 legislative session, with its proposed 2018 budget, should not be fully enacted. Therefore, the Speaker and the Senate President are encouraged to #JustStayHome this summer and fall and officially close this destructive legislative session … so they do not inflict more damage on our state’s workforce.



  • Merle The Monster

    It’s fitting that its Katz’s voice that is used in the video. He has been a robotic reciter of boilerplate free market blather even before he was paid to be. I guess he can be recognized as being consistent in that regard.
    Look how the one human was seen in this video. As a slutty young woman smoking while holding a bottle of booze. That’s probably a very accurate portrait of the way this “Center” views workers on a whole and the way the “Center’s” cloaked dark money donors do as well.

    • Donna J Hawkins Walsh

      The “center” is the center of public private partnerships and this budget is filled with them, so all this surface war talk is a joke! Free market doesn’t mean handing out our tax dollars to corporations and then calling it privatized.

    • BasicCaruso

      I say J-Robot is way better than the original. IMHO, is pretty clear that his blogging was taken over by machine some time ago.

  • BasicCaruso

    “By forcing employers to pay for costly paid-time-off, employees are incentivized to arbitrarily not show up for work for almost any reason they concoct, driving up business costs and driving down productivity”

    So does the RICFP offer paid time off? One can only wonder how the organization (and so many others) continue to operate with employees who have the autonomy to decide when they are too sick to come to work or, heaven forbid, that they need to stay home to care for a child or parent. #FringeRightFamilyValues

  • BasicCaruso

    I’m sure I’m not alone in pointing out how annoying it is to be forced to work next to a coworker who decides to tough it out despite being ill. Next week half the department is out with the same illness, kids and spouse are sick the week after that, and on, and on. Only those on the extreme right like Stenhouse could think this a good idea.

    Conservatives, pass on a cold for Freedom! (seriously though, please wash your hands after you visit the RICFP)

    The Hidden Costs of Presenteeism: Causes and Solutions
    https://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/presenteeism.htm
    “According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, our national economy would experience a net savings of $8.2 billion per year if workers were provided just seven paid sick days per year. This in addition to employers benefiting from reduced turnover, higher productivity and reducing the spread of contagion in the workplace.”

    • Justin Katz

      Since you’re returning daily to add to your disingenuousness, I guess I should offer some response, though it may be bait-taking.

      You exemplify very, very well the myopic solipsism of many progressives. Here’s a newsflash: Not everybody’s life and work resembles yours in every detail. Designing our society in accord with your limited experience is the height of arrogance.

      I don’t agree with every point that Mike makes, but the core of the complaint is that this policy is being forced on all employers as a blanket requirement. These policies ought to be worked out between employers and employees familiar with their work environments and the personalities involved.

      We should expect that a company with the environment that you describe would understand or learn that turning the office into a hub of contagion is costly and voluntarily take the less-costly route.

      • BasicCaruso

        Yes, never mind that forcing workers to show up to work sick is costly, counterproductive, and detrimental to families, workers, and customers. The RICFP will claim it’s a matter of business efficiency anyway, eh?

        Freedom (*achoo*)!

      • BasicCaruso

        Here’s the “myopic solipsism” of the American Medical Association. Think public health isn’t your concern? Guess who pays when medical costs rise.

        Of course, Stenhouse and Justin know better.

        https://www.ama-assn.org/ama-recognizes-public-health-benefits-paid-sick-leave
        “‘With both dual-earner and single-parent households on the rise in the United States, it is increasingly challenging for workers to juggle family and work,’ said former AMA Board Chair Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. ‘Workers without paid sick days are more likely to work sick and are more likely to delay needed medical care, which can lead to prolonged illness and worsen otherwise minor health issues. Lack of paid leave also has a ripple effect across a worker’s family. Paid sick leave has been shown to aid children’s health, shorten hospital stays and reduce the risk of disease transmission by allowing parents to stay home with sick children. Paid sick leave keeps our homes, offices and communities healthier while ensuring the family’s economic security.’

        The United States is the only industrialized nation without a federal family-leave law that guarantees workers may receive pay while taking time to care for themselves or their family.

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